self-esteem

Sometimes, knowing is the whole battle.

This is a guest post from Dances With Engines as part of the month-long blogathon to help support Scarleteen!

Scarleteen is written for young people of all sexes and genders. That they manage to do so with so much consistency and dependability is amazing to me. As I become more conscious of my own binary and oppositional language (men do this, women do that, and only men and women), I get more impressed with Scarleteen.

When I recommend websites to my daughter, or to friends with growing children, I am always questioning—is the language and mission of this site going to be inclusive? Is anyone going to be left feeling like they don’t belong or that someone’s wrong with them? I felt like that, growing up. There were so many reasons I wasn’t human, wasn’t visible.

You’ll Grow Out of It

This is a guest entry from I, Asshole for the month-long blogathon to help support Scarleteen!

I was raised in an environment where I felt like I didn’t belong. This wasn’t really anyone’s fault. I just really didn’t belong. I was given some innocuous labels: outgoing, loves to entertain, a social butterfly. There were the less-positive ones, too: wasted potential, weirdo, voted by my graduating class as Most Likely to Relocate to Mars (hey, it turns out Seattle is Mars). I did not know what to call myself, I just knew that I was a little different from all my friends. My precocious age-inappropriate-novel-gobbling self even knew from reading that this feeling was kind of part of the human condition: everyone feels like they are alone sometimes.

I'm In the (Friend) Zone

Anonymous
asks:
I'm a male high school student and, frankly, also a cliche. I'm the basic "friend" and I really don't want to be that. I have a lot of guy friends and a lot of girl friends, but no girlfriend. This may sound stupid, but I don't want this to be a foreshadowing of the rest of my life to come. I've never really had a girlfriend, and don't get me wrong, my friends are great....

Whose Vagina Is It, Anyway?

Anonymous
asks:
I'm a 32 year old woman being driven up the wall by my fiance always telling me he can tell I'm playing with my toys when he's at work because I'm loose that day. I swear to him up and down that I haven't and even tell him the last time that I have done something like that. But he doesn't want to hear it. He always says I'm lying about it all. Why somedays is my vagina tighter than another day?...

(More Than) a Few Words On Being 13 and 100% Ready for Sex

vergin_13confussd
asks:
Im 13 and a vigin and my boyfriend is 13 and not a vigin, and we're 100% ready 2 have sex, but the problem is that hes in south carolina and im in minnsota. Wen I lived in sc he went 2 my skool and we never talked. But there was a girl that would always say bad stuff about him, like hes slept wit every girl in the skool and hes such a bad guy, blah blah blah....

I like gay male porn, but gay men in real life freak me out.

Frederick
asks:
I have doubts: I am a 14 year old guy, I'm from Argentina now living in Florida and I have always pictured myself with girls in romantic relationships, and I still do. But now I enjoy watching gay pornography. When I picture a two-man relationship it disgusts me, but yet I prefer gay porn....

I had casual sex, and my friends reacted pretty badly. Now what?

morphobutterfly
asks:
I'm a 20 year old girl, who's...well, I'm not going to say perfectly confident, because I do have some fairly major esteem issues, but I know my own mind, I'm independent & I'm not one to go with the crowd just because it's the "done" thing. Three years ago a guy I was making out with on a regular basis, assaulted me sexually....

How do I bring up my sexual limits and boundaries?

Lishy
asks:
I'm 15, and I have my first boyfriend (he's 16, almost 17, with a one year five month age difference between us). I really love him, and he loves me. Yesterday, we were kissing and ended up with us making out and him on top of me. He touched my leg, and my stomach and hip some, but didn't go anywhere near my privates....